BMW gets its art on - and online

By Editors on July 11, 2011 11:28 AM

BMW has made a virtual cottage industry out of its series of "art cars" over the past four decades and to commemorate that longstanding practice, the automaker has created a unique virtual tour through time that highlights all 17 of the BMWs that have become mobile canvases for everyone from Alexander Calder who created the first art car in 1975 to Jeff Koons, whose latest in the Art Car series competed in this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Through the years, major international creative giants including Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Jenny Holzer and David Hockney have all contributed to the mix. The automaker has now developed a special interactive website -- -- that pays homage to this truly unique collection and offers interesting insight and perspective on both the vehicles and their respective creators. 

The genesis of the BMW Art Car program came from Hervé Poulain, a French auctioneer and racing driver, who originally approached Calder about turning Poulain's own BMW 3.0 CSL into a piece of high-velocity sculpture that made its one and only competitive outing Le Mans in 1975. Although the car endured only seven hours before succumbing to mechanical problems, it generated huge amounts of interest and led BMW AG to continue the effort  and ultimately turn it into what has become the Art Car Collection.

Bill McAndrews, head of BMW Group Corporate Strategy and Communications, notes that: "While the originals are often exhibited individually at the BMW Museum in Munich or at significant cultural institutions throughout the world, people are now able to discover for the BMW Art Cars in their entirety with this comprehensive online tour that's available anywhere and anytime."

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